Options to Consider When Employee Rescinds a Resignation

Our employee gave notice yesterday that he is quitting effective two weeks from now. Today, he indicated he wants to stay after all, but we want him to continue with his resignation. What are our options?

When an employee attempts to “rescind a resignation,” the employer is not required to accept said rescission. Indeed, if this is a less-than-stellar employee, the employer may be happy to have the individual resign.

Get It in Writing

An issue can come up when a resignation is verbal, and then the employee rescinds it.

For this reason, it is best to have employees put their resignation in writing. Even an email is sufficient to prove the resignation happened, in the event the employee contends he/she never really resigned.

If the employee does not put the resignation in writing, it’s advisable for the employer to accept the resignation immediately and in writing to acknowledge and confirm that the employer is acting on the wishes of the employee.

Indeed, the employer should start a search for a new employee to show that the employer has acted on the resignation notice. Starting the search usually helps with the employee contending that he/she did not put the resignation in writing and establishes that the employer relied on notice from the employee.

Other Scenarios

Another scenario that occurs around resignations is when an employee gives a lengthy resignation notice, and the employer prefers to cut ties immediately.

If an employee provides 30 days’ notice and the employer decides today is the last day, the resignation becomes a termination and the individual is eligible for unemployment benefits.

Alternatively, if an employee gives notice and the employer decides today is the last day, but the employer pays the person through the notice period, then the resignation stays a resignation.

When paying an employee his/her final paycheck, be it resignation or termination, do not mail that check unless the employee directs you to do so in writing.

Column based on questions asked by callers on the Labor Law Helpline, a service to California Chamber of Commerce preferred and executive members. For expert explanations of labor laws and Cal/OSHA regulations, not legal counsel for specific situations, call (800) 348-2262 or submit your question at www.hrcalifornia.com.

Staff Contact: Dana Leisinger